- Are you flexible the day of the wedding?
The only appropriate answer here is “Absolutely!”
A huge part of wedding photography involves knowing how to respond in unexpected situations without being flustered or losing track of what’s left to do.
Unexpected weather can change the timeline…
A DJ (or an officiant) might get lost on the way to the venue (or run out of gas- particularly if the venue is remote)…
Transporting a giant wedding cake is problematic at best…
Buttons pop and zippers break…
A groomsman’s suit might get left in the wrong bag…
Anything can happen.
If your photographer is great, challenges will give them a moment to shine (and put your mind at ease).
which leads us into…
- What Can Go Wrong (and what are your plans in the event something does)?
This is a great question to ask because, inevitably, something will go wrong. Well, maybe not “wrong” but certainly not up to expectation- and that’s OKAY.
Cakes will fall, storms will delay outdoor weddings, pastors will be late, and bands will pull a no show. Groomsmen will show up hungover and the mother-of-the bride might need a drink because of it all, but that’s OKAY.
Not to mention the stuff that your photographer has some control over!
Equipment failure, bad memory cards, lighting issues, and non-professional photographers can all muck up your day as thoroughly as anything else… but a good professional takes every step possible to minimize their (and your) exposure.
Your photographer should be shooting on equipment that has built in backup capability (most pro level cameras have dual card slots, so your photographer can record two images every time the shutter is pressed). Likewise, spare batteries, studio flashes, speedlights, modifiers, lenses, storage cards, cleaning
gear, and chargers are part of every photographer’s wedding kit… I’m particularly fond of my special bag, which holds lots of different sorts of tape, a sewing kit, and some glue sticks.
The redundancy shouldn’t stop there. Inquire about your photographer’s backup process- it should include on and off-site backups, as well as incremental backups of all files, catalogs, and edits in an ongoing process so that nothing is lost in the event of a catastrophic system failure (think lightning strike or fire). I know all this stuff sounds a little extreme, but the hope is that (as a photographer) you’ll never have to use any of it… meanwhile, the reality is that you probably will at some point. Why risk it?
Ultimately, the list of what can go wrong is endless, but by hiring a professional you trust, you can at least rest assured that you’re as taken care of as is humanly possible. Beyond that, don’t worry about it!
I’ve shot weddings in rainstorms, unseasonal heat, frigid temperatures, and (once) the monsoon-like rain and wind from a newly downgraded hurricane. In every instance, the photos turned out wonderfully because my clients trusted me to do my job and to take care of them.
The only thing you really need to worry about on your wedding day is who you’re leaving with. The rest of it is beautiful, sure. Memorable, definitely. Meaningful, absolutely. But it’s all ancillary window dressing.
((part 3 is next!))